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About Customer Acquistion And Growth

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Inside the 6 Hypotheses that Doubled Patreon’s Activation Success

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I rarely accept guest posts on this blog, but this opportunity was too good to pass up.  A couple months ago Tal Raviv (Growth PM @ Patreon) sent me a short email - "Brian, the results are in.  We doubled (yeah, doubled) new creators in our onboarding." 

My immediate response, holy f*ing YES!!!! My second response, lets write about this.  I've spoken/written about the importance of onboarding a lot before. The number of solid cases/examples out there is few and far between.  So Susan Su, Head of Marketing at Reforge, dug in with the Patreon team to produce this amazing piece.  It covers:

  • How Patreon decided and defined a leading indicator activation metric.
  • The challenges they faced with that metric.
  • The six hypotheses they tested, where the hypotheses came from, what worked and what didn't. 

Building a Growth Team from Zero to Fifty

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Growth is still an emerging discipline, and not everyone has a structured growth team within their org. But, let’s say you get to start from scratch and build the ideal growth team. What people and roles would you start with?

Andrew Chen and I recently sat down to look at a few configurations to consider as you're scaling up a team around growth. We've broken up the conversation into three videos, with notes below each video. 


1. The Minimum Viable Growth Team -- 1 to 3 people
2. The 10-20 Person Growth Team -- The 1-5-10 Ratio and Growth Specialization
3. 50-Person Growth Team and Beyond -- Where Growth Drives Product

How You Battle the "Data Wheel of Death" in Growth

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Data Isn’t Constantly Maintained -> Data Becomes Irrelevant / Flawed -> People Lose Trust -> They Use Data Less

If the above looks familiar, you’re not alone. I estimate that greater than ⅔ of data efforts at companies fail.

This is trouble because data plays a key horizontal role in the growth process and mindset. Without good data, it’s not possible to run a legitimate experimentation cycle.

Today, I’ll take a look at 4 reasons why well-meaning data efforts fail so often, and what you can do about it.

Growth Benchmarks Are (Mostly) Useless

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Most growth communities, forums, and email lists will inevitably have that thread that goes: 

“Hey, what are the benchmarks everyone’s seeing for X?” 

I constantly find people seeking out benchmarks or pointing to benchmarks, and we’ve all been there -- who doesn’t want some normalizing data to understand whether we’re on track or not?

The desire is further fueled by many companies releasing “benchmark reports.”  I understand why. It makes for sexy content marketing.

But there’s one small issue:

Growth benchmarks are mostly useless. There is a better way, which I'll outline below.

Solving Mobile Growth & Retention with Andy Carvell, ex Growth at SoundCloud

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Andy Carvell joined SoundCloud in 2012, when the company was just over 80 employees and 10 million monthly active users.  The service now boasts over 150 million registered users, and monthly actives in the high tens of millions. I recently spoke with Andy as part of a 1 hour interview covering:

How he brought a web-first product to mobile
Activity notifications, rich push, and other techniques for driving mobile growth and retention
Andy’s “Mobile Growth Stack” for 2017

How to Embrace Constant Change in Growth

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In the early days of building the growth team at HubSpot, we spent a few months optimizing onboarding in our product and produced some meaningful improvements. As the team expanded, I wanted to dedicate a full-time team to onboarding, but I got a few versions of the following questions from other executives: 

“Why do you want to put a full-time team on that? I thought you guys were done optimizing onboarding?”

The mentality of “done” is the exact opposite of the mentality of high performance growth teams. Change is constant. Change is difficult. Not adapting to change is fatal.

Your Average CAC is Lying to You -- What to do Instead

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I recently wrote about the most common mistakes with CAC (customer acquisition cost) that can derail growth efforts before you even get started because CAC is a metric that's foundational to growth strategy.

In this post, we'll look at the faulty myth of "Average CAC," and the most meaningful CAC segmentations that you should be paying attention to instead.

5 Recommendations for Setting Yearly Growth Goals

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We are nearing the year end and that probably means many teams are finalizing their growth goals for next year.  Just the thought of the planning process is probably jacking up your stress levels.  After all, setting yearly growth goals in fast changing environments feels like shooting darts blindfolded.  While there a lot of goal-setting frameworks out there, no matter which one you use, I have a few recommendations to make the process better.

How To Setup A Growth Team For Maximum Impact

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Measuring the success of the growth team is a tougher question. Every team from product, to marketing, to operations indirectly influences growth. This leads to some questions and challenges: “Why have a growth team? Doesn’t everyone own growth?” 

7 Principles To Mastering Growth Marketing

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We have a big addiction problem in our industry. Hacktics, the tips, tricks, hacks, tools, and secrets that promise to solve our growth problems.  As a result, marketers now get the majority of their “learning” through this hack-tic based content. As addictive as they are, prescription-based tactics and tools won’t solve your problem, and most importantly, help you become an elite marketer.